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Who Memorizes Scripture Anymore?

What is the difference between carrying the Word of God with you or inside of you? For centuries believers have had copies of the Bible that they could take with them wherever they went. Scripture was portable. The Bible is still portable through memorization, mediation, and the storytelling of the Gospel. When the Word of God is in you rather than with you, it becomes a living and active force.

The class I am taking this semester requires some scripture memorization. When I read that on the syllabus, I wasn’t very excited. Why? Because it requires real focused engagement with the Word. It’s not just reading it and then putting it aside until the next day. It involves continuing to think about that passage all day long. Reciting it back in my mind frequently throughout the day. Also, you really have to meditate on the passage to memorize it. Memorizing makes you dissect it to help your mind remember. With the passage below, I think … law, statute, precept, command, and fear. Then I think refreshing, trustworthy, perfect, radiant, and pure. In the dissection part, you start to meditate, and during the mediation, God can really speak to you.

The first passage I am memorizing is Psalm 19:7-11; here goes.

  • The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.

The statutes of the

 Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

  • The precepts of the Lord are perfect, giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving sight to the eyes.

  • The fear of the Lord is pure; it endures forever.

Whew – that is half memorized.

The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.

  • They are more precious than gold than much pure gold;

They are sweeter than honey than honey from the honeycomb.

  • By them, your servant is warned; in keeping them, there is great reward.

This passage extols the greatness of God’s Word and the need for it in our lives. It also outlines the benefits: it refreshes the soul, makes wise the simple, gives joy to the heart, sight to the eyes, it endures forever. Why wouldn’t we want to meditate on the ways we profit from reading, believing, memorizing, and meditating on God’s Word.

Passages to focus on today.

Joshua 1:8, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Prayer for today.

Lord, help me make Your Word something that I carry inside of me, not just with me. I commit myself to meditating, memorizing, and sharing Your Word. Let the truth of Your Word bring healing to my soul. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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